Archive for June, 2018

Article taken from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
(May 12, 2017)

It’s your secret. One that you’ve vowed you won’t share with anybody. Nobody talks about that sort of thing anyway. But inside, the memory of your abortion pierces your heart. And Mother’s Day only serves as a crushing reminder of what could have been. Would you believe God not only sees you in your pain, but He loves you? He does. And He is waiting, ready to forgive your sin and heal your heart.

We pray you will draw encouragement from the following Biblical truths, shared by Sandy Day from Caleb Ministries. Abortion is part of her story, but so is healing. Through the years, she has learned to lean on the power of God’s healing love as she walked through the aftermath of her decision and then a subsequent miscarriage. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it’s one that God continues to use as she ministers to other women in similar situations.

“When I look at Mother’s Day now, it’s a joyful time to say, ‘Thank you, Lord, that I’ve worked through these things,’” Sandy said. “Now in years past, it wasn’t quite that way.”

Four powerful truths for the woman who has experienced abortion:

1. God forgives your sin, and the guilt of your sin. Sandy knows firsthand the guilt and shame associated with having an abortion. She was 19 and a new Christian when she said she bought into the lies that it was her only option.

“Even though I was a very young Christian, I knew that day I had disobeyed God,” Sandy said. “Even though I believed all the lies, that this is tissue, I’m too young, I’d embarrass my parents, all of those lies. After it was over with, I thought, ‘I have made a terrible, sinful decision, and it’s going to last my whole life.’”

She was committed to keeping her secret to her grave, but she continued deepening her walk with God, and by her early 30s, she felt the tug to release everything to Him. It’s not easy, but she points to Psalm 32:5 and Romans 8:11 as Scriptures that offer encouragement and strength.

After that, Mother’s Day was a different day for me because I knew the forgiveness of God, and I understood the forgiveness of God, and I could truly live there.”

2. God can use this painful experience to bring about good. Consider Romans 8:28. “God never says it’s good, but He causes it to work together for good,” Sandy said, noting God uses pain, affliction and even death to draw us into a closer relationship with Him. From that relationship, healing and then serving in His name is possible.

3. The hole in your heart will heal. But God has to do the healing. Psalm 18:6 declares, “In my distress, I called to the Lord, and cried out to my God. He heard my voice from His temple.” Cry out to Him openly, honestly. The Bible says He hears you.

Referring to Psalm 138, Sandy points out that He is not a far-off God. “He is ever so present in the midst of our suffering,” she said.

Be patient with yourself, Sandy also advises. “[Your heart] will mend. But this is the key: It won’t mend in the way that we think it will because God is doing His work in your heart and life.”

4. God’s loving grace is abundant for you, too. Sandy encourages women to live as a product of the finished work of the cross rather than a product of their past. It takes time, but after turning her life over to Jesus, Sandy can’t imagine any other way today. “It’s just so freeing to understand not only what Christ did, but that we can truly live and walk in it.”

And try not to get sucked into the advertising mania surrounding Mother’s Day. That can turn your thoughts inward. Instead, lift your eyes higher. Of course, that doesn’t mean your emotions are invalid and should be ignored, but don’t let them dominate your thought life. Focus on the Lord instead.

“When we think about Mother’s Day, I think that we need to think about the Lord and His plan and His purpose for me, and not the fact of this is what happened,” Sandy said. “[Ask God], ‘How are You using this in my life, and how can I use it to help somebody else?’”

Draw near to the Lord this Mother’s Day!

Is This Really God’s Will for My Life?

Knowing and Doing God’s Will

There are many misunderstandings about knowing and doing God’s will. Many people leave churches and make major moves to other cities without really knowing if it’s God’s will.

God’s will might take me where I don’t want to go. Some people think, “If I surrender to God’s will, I might have to go to Africa and be a missionary. God doesn’t want to make your life miserable…He wants your heart. Just like Abraham’s willingness to offer his son. God made an escape for Abraham because He saw Abraham’s heart. Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

God makes His will only clear to certain people. God has a will for every Christian… whether you’re a missionary or a secretary — a pastor or a plumber. God has a will for everyone. Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

It must be God’s will if other Christians agree or disagree with me. Just because other Christians agree with you on something, does not necessarily mean that God is leading. It can be misleading to seek God’s approval for man’s choices or decisions. Think of the church voting on Matthias to replace Judas. We never hear another word about Matthias. God had a plan to replace Judas with Paul. Acts 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

It must be God’s will for me to move because I would be more suitable and more useful in this new situation. When the Lord called Moses, he insisted he wouldn’t be suited for the job because he had no speaking ability. Some Christians can be useful no matter where God puts them. He doesn’t necessarily put us where we will be the most useful, He puts us in a place where we can best glorify Him. Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

It must be God’s will for me to move so that I can be more successful and have a greater chance for advancement. Think about it…the Lord called Ezekiel to do a special job. He told him that his efforts would be in vain and that he would look like a failure. God’s will may require you to make financial and personal sacrifices to accomplish His will. Remember God focuses His will on His purpose.

If I were in God’s will, people would love me and appreciate me. When you’re in God’s will, people’s love, hate or indifference has nothing to do with your going or staying. Luke 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

God’s will is taking me to a place where there is a greater need. God’s leading has nothing to do with a supposed need. God told Philip to leave the crowds of Samaria and go minister to one individual on an isolated road between Jerusalem and Gaza.

How Can I Know if God Is Leading?

God’s will may not always be clear from start to finish. Usually it’s one step at a time. Maybe that is the reason God tells us to walk by faith and not by sight.

God’s will may require you to replace another Christian who gets out of His will. We do not go looking for God’s will; it comes looking for us. We do not find God’s will; we find ourselves in it; it’s a way of life; it’s being consistently led by the Spirit. Hudson Taylor said, “Our best decisions are when they are left up to God.”

Paul encouraged the Christians at Galatia to walk in the Spirit. There is a big difference between self-leading, Satan leading, and God’s leading.

(1) Self- leading: If you’re leading yourself, you decide by your emotions. Your urges are not consistent, and they fluctuate. One day, you think it’s God’s will…the next day it’s not God’s will.

(2) Satan’s leading: If Satan is leading, he will always make you think it’s urgent. No time to think. No time to pray. It’s now or never. If you delay, it will be too late.

(3) God’s leading: When the Lord is leading, He will give you time. It’s not urgent, but the impression is there… it never goes away. The Lord is patient. He gives you space. There’s time to think, talk, and even disagree with it. He hopes you will go along with His will, but you have the choice to say no. God’s leading is not complicated or confusing. He doesn’t want to make it difficult for you. He always has your best interests in mind.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

We must trust the Lord wholeheartedly and not depend on our own intellect or emotions!

Points for a Pastor’s Wife

A Pastor’s Wife Should…

1. Be able to think quickly. The pastor’s wife must learn to think through various situations in a moment. She has to realize that the reputation of her husband and future of the church is always at stake.

Special Note: If you’re a pastor’s wife and attend church business meetings, remain silent. Many pastors’ wives have destroyed their testimonies by speaking out in anger during business meetings.

2. Be able to remain strong during difficult times. The pastor’s wife must learn to stay strong when it looks like everyone else is running away from problems. During controversies and trials, she needs to stay calm. In the church, finances might be low one year and high the next. Her husband and the women of the church look to her for stability.

3. Be able to keep confidences. The pastor’s wife usually knows things that aren’t yet ready to be released or talked about publicly. She must learn to answer questions and address issues of importance to people without giving out confidential information.

4. Be able to release control and delegate. The pastor’s wife usually wears many hats. Some pastors want their wives to oversee many different areas of the ministry…office, nursery, children’s classes, ladies’ ministries, or if she has small children, he may want her to stay home and raise their children. If she is going to be a good leader, she must be able to delegate. In order to see other ministries grow, the pastor’s wife must trust other women and take risks with them.

5. Be able to see the spiritual gifts in women and help them find places to serve in the church. The pastor’s wife can’t always just focus on her own agenda of ministry. She must balance all the needs of the church. Since the church is built with many gifted people, she should look for opportunities to use them.

Review the following gifts and look for women in your churches who might be gifted in particular areas to serve:

• Gift of Prophecy-she is someone who is able to boldly proclaim God’s Word.
• Gift of Serving-she is someone who sees jobs in the church not getting done, and she uses available resources to get those jobs done.
• Gift of Teaching-she is someone who has the ability to communicate God’s Word so that women understand His precepts and begin to grow spiritually.
• Gift of Exhorting-she is someone who is a real encourager. She is able to comfort and help others be all that God wants them to be.
• Gift of Ruling and Leading-she is someone who stands before other women by motivating them to get involved in serving.
• Gift of Giving-she is someone who shares liberally and cheerfully the resources God has given her…whether it’s her time or money.
• Gift of Mercy-she is one who is sensitive toward those who are suffering…physically, mentally, or emotionally. She is able to feel genuine sympathy with their misery.

6. Be able to make unpopular decisions. The pastor will undoubtedly make decisions that are unpopular. When these decisions are made, some members take it out on the pastor’s wife, causing her to experience feelings of loneliness.

7. Be able to handle conflicts in the church. The pastor’s wife can’t hide under the bed and wish that all the problems would go away. Sometimes conflicts are healthy and bring about spiritual changes in the lives of their members.